Acupuncture is one of the many skills utilised within physiotherapy as part of an integrated approach to the management of pain and inflammation. Physiotherapists base their treatments on scientific research and clinical evidence that acupuncture can reduce pain by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain-relieving chemicals such as endorphins, melatonin (which promotes sleep) and serotonin (to promote wellbeing), to name but a few. These chemicals assist the body's healing processes and offer pain relief as a precursor to other treatments such as manual therapy or exercise in order to aid recovery (AACP, 2014).
The World Health Organisation supports acupuncture in the treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions including neck and low back pain, chronic knee pain, fibromyalgia, headaches and soft tissue pain. Many patients return to acupuncture again and again because they find it so beneficial and relieving. Some patients choose acupuncture for help with a specific symptom or condition, others have treatment to help maintain good health or to improve their general sense of wellbeing.
In the UK, the latest national guidelines for the treatment of low back pain (NICE, 2016) recommends patients should be assessed and considered for a course of treatment incorporating advice and information; manual therapy including mobilisation and soft tissue massage; and a structured exercise programme combined with psychological input where appropriate.
Acupuncture is also effective in the treatment, management and prevention of headaches. Recent guidelines on the diagnosis and management of headaches in young people and adults recommended a course of acupuncture for the management and prevention of chronic tension-type headaches.
Our physiotherapists have a wealth of experience and training in all these areas of treatment, so are ideally placed to manage these very common conditions and provide high-quality care.
Please contact us if you are interested in a course of acupuncture with one of our specialist physiotherapists or if you have any questions we can help with.
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